On Zeferino Lighting Professional we like to start the week looking forward to, so we have made a small collection of quotes and advices from some of the best contemporary cinematographers.
“I am finding that my lighting becomes more and more simplified as I gain experience, which facilitates moving the camera more easily. I always operate myself and so I am very aware of the flexibility I need as an operator. With that in mind I have always tended to light for the situation and not a single shot. It is hopeless to light a close shot, however brilliantly, only to find that the lighting used can in no way be justified in a wider view.” Roger Deakins
” Contrast is what makes photography interesting. ” Conrad Hall
“Whether you’re a cameraman or a director, you should ask yourself every now and then, ‘What am I trying to do?’ Be honest and keep things very simple.” James Wong Howe, ASC
“If someone asked, ‘What did you think of the photography?’ and the reply was, ‘I don’t know. I didn’t notice it,’ then I would feel I had succeeded.” Jack Cardiff, ASC, BSC
“I see an incredible abuse of close-ups in many films these days. Why is that?” Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC
“When you make something you like and audiences reject it, the experience can be painful. But I’ve discovered…that when you make something you aren’t exactly satisfied with, and someone tells you it’s great, that’s even mor…e painful and frustrating.” Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
“Learn the rules before you try to bend or break them. You need a foundation on which to build.” Douglas Slocombe, BSC
“Cinematography is a job that can be either boringly technical or magical. I was never trained to be that technical, so for me, it has to be magical.” Fred Elmes, ASC
“You can read, you can watch, you can study, and one should do all those things, but it’s the physical reality of doing it that makes a difference. You need to make mistakes to really learn and move forward.” Lisa Rinzler
“Sometimes I feel ashamed at my lack of interest in all the new techniques of modern filmmaking, but I prefer to work with as little equipment as possible. If I have a good lens and a steady camera, that’s all I need.” Sven Nykvist, ASC
“I’d say to anyone trying to break into the business: Don’t just be interested in movies. Be interested in life. Be a person. Be in touch.” Haskell Wexler, ASC
“I urge students not to use their light meters blindly, but to use them creatively. There’s no such thing as a ‘correct exposure.’ Correct exposure is that which gives us our desired effects and tones.” Subrata Mitra, ISC